Re: New Hampshire new owner
I did a little digging on this repo'd FJ for $11,300.
The company certainly looks legit at first glance. They claim to be the US branch of an Austrian company. Their web site lists an Austrian address as well as a U.S. address in Nevada, and has a telephone number. I emailed them about this vehicle and they answered all my emails quickly and in good english. They ran a CarFax report on the FJ and gave me the VIN. Everything concerning the vehicle checked out. Two owners, and is currently in Ohio. However, I did find an old for sale listing on the web, with a price of $29,500, and the photos in that listing are the exact same ones as on the repo site. That's a little suspicious.
If it is a bank repo, the price might make sense - the bank only wants to recover their loss and not have to store the vehicle any more. They said they will deliver the vehicle to my home free of charge. That was a little suspicious as well since there can't be a lot of margin left after the delivery charges.
In any case, I played along and they sent me a bill of sale and purchase agreement for me to sign. The payment terms would have me wire money to a bank account in Austria. Also, in the sales agreement, I had 10 days after delivery to accept the car, and if I rejected it, they would start the refund process and cover the shipping to return it - again, a little too generous to be believed.
First I tried to check their address in Nevada. There is a small industrial park at the listed address, but I can find no references to their company actually being there, except on their web site. Google street view does not show any building with their signage. The telephone number looks like a legitimate Nevada number, but a reverse lookup shows it to be unlisted. I did not try calling it.
Next I checked the web site. First red flag is that the domain name was registered for the first time only a month ago. Scam companies will register new domain names regularly - as soon as it becomes known that their current one is a fraud site. Second red flag - it is registered through a privacy protect company - no details on the registrar are available. Next I started checking on the domain's IP address and name servers. There are two authoritative name servers listed, both in Russia. BIG red flag. The IP address of the domain also traces to Russia, and the IP address has been associated with at least 24 other domains, some of them dealing with car sales.
So, IMO, this is a Russian fraud scheme. Your money goes to an Austrian bank, probably similar to a Swiss numbered account so you can never find info on the account holder, and you never get the car. This FJ is a real vehicle, but it is not legitimately for sale by this company or at this price.